Friday, August 18, 2006

My take on the 'Lost in Translation' Scarf -- 1

When the film 'Lost in Translation' first hit cinema screens, there was a bit of fuss in the online knitting community about the scarf Scarlett Johansson's character Charlotte is knitting early on in the film. For those of you who missed it, here is a screen capture from the film of Charlotte trying on her scarf to check the length.

And here is another screen capture of it, relaxing on Charlotte's bed...

As you can appreciate, we never really get to see the detail of the scarf's stitch pattern -- it's not a film about knitting, after all ;) -- but the overall effect is very pretty, so there was some discussion on a few of the knitting forums as to how a similar scarf might be knit.

The original scarf was designed for the film by Edith Eig from La Knitterie Parisienne, and eventually appeared as one of the patterns in her book 'Mother of Purl'...

I've never been entirely convinced that the scarf pictured in the book and the accompanying pattern are actually the same as the scarf featured in the film, or that the yarn specified in the pattern is the same as the one Charlotte's scarf was knit with. In the text of the book, Edith Eig herself actually refers to the yarn she used as being a powder blue cashmere, which isn't Rowan 'Kid Classic' (70% lambswool, 26% kid mohair, 4% nylon) to my way of thinking, and the scarf in the film seems to have a bit of a fuzzy haze to it which the scarf pictured in the book lacks. Not to mention that knitting 'Kid Classic' on US 7 (4.5mm) needles would be unlikely to produce a light and airy fabric. Anyway... I checked the La Knitterie Parisienne website for corrections, but as there weren't any, I have to assume Edith Eig is happy that the the pattern as it appears in her book is the same as the one she used to knit the scarf for the film. And who am I to argue with that? ;)

So I put the project on the backburner while I considered what I might knit it in, and how I might alter the pattern to get closer to the look I wanted.

Until last Saturday, when I spotted some GGH 'Soft Kid' in a yummy red colour on the shelf at Rubi & Lana, that is.

I've played around with extending the pattern a bit, and what I've settled upon is this...

... which I don't really think is right either, but it does seem to suit the much lighter weight yarn I'm working with.

For those of you who are interested, I'm knitting it with 4.5mm Swallow 'Timbergrain' needles, and the alterations I made to the pattern were to increase the number of stitches per row to 36 and to include an extra two rows...

ROW 8: Knit across.
ROW 9: K1, purl across to last st, end with K1.

... at the end of the pattern repeat.

As there are still an odd number of rows in each pattern repeat, this does alternate what would normally be considered as the front and back of the scarf, but the pattern seems to work with the relatively fine kid mohair yarn, and does have the advantage that the finished scarf won't really have a right and wrong side. :)

I'll probably have another go at it some time in the future with some larger needles and some GGH 'Soft Kid' yarn used double, but for now I'm happy with the way my take on the scarf is turning out.



At 1:16 pm, August 21, 2006, Blogger Carson said...

I'm so glad someone else is obsessed with that scarf from lost in translation, it's one of the defining moments that got me knitting.
Have you seen Kate's progress on the "Bonnie" ie the sweater Faye Dunaway is wearing in Bonnie & Clyde?
I'm thinking "Knits in Cinema" is a genre in itself.

At 3:54 am, August 29, 2006, Blogger knitupandagain said...

I happened to be at La knitterie Parisienne when Edith Eig was knitting the scarf for Lost In Translation, and then I actually knit one myself when her book came out...and to ease your minds, I can attest to the fact that it is indeed the same identical pattern! So, no need to look for corrections, there aren't any -- the pattern is the one from the movie!

At 1:35 am, November 15, 2007, Blogger peach-tree, said...

the ball of wall pictured on the bed in the screencap does look like kid classic, though - i have a ball of powder-blue kid classic at home and it looks pretty similar.... but i guess rowan kidsilk haze would produce a lighter effect...
(i wish i could find the pattern online; i really like the scarf but can't seem to get hold of the book. any ideas?)

At 4:11 pm, December 19, 2007, Blogger *tammy* said...

Hmm, now that I see the picture of the scarf from the book makes me wonder if I want to do it, it doesn't look as nice as the movie but I wonder if that is because it's all twisted and what not in the movie so we never get a "good" look at it?

At 11:09 pm, December 04, 2008, Anonymous Emma Henriksson said...

Hi! I've been dying to knit that scarf from the moment I saw it, and the red one you've made with the extended pattern is, if possible, even better than the one in the movie. Would you mind sharing the full pattern of that scarf with me?

/Emma Henriksson

At 1:49 am, July 14, 2010, Anonymous arnellies said...

I saw this movie last night and I couldn't keep my eyes away from this scarf! is there anyway someone can email me the pattern for this? I've looked everywhere and my local bookstore doesn't have this book in stock. Its nice to know who made the scarf! :D

At 12:21 pm, March 15, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been looking everywhere for the pattern of this scarf! I'm from South America so there's no chance I'll find the book at any local bookstore and it will take forever to order it from is there any chance you might post the pattern you used for the red scarf? looks even prettier than the one in the book..


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